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This is a special dramatisation by Tony Lentin and Paul Kafno drawn up from the letters and others documents of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, and the writer and philosopher, Voltaire. The covers the three-year period from immediately before Voltaire's arrival in Potsdam in June 1750, to his departure in May 1753, and describes the development of Voltaire's relationship with the Prussian King. The part of Frederick the Great is played by Hilary Minster and that of Voltaire by Allan McClelland.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A204, The Enlightenment
Item code: A204; 06
First transmission date: 05-06-1980
Published: 1980
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:22:17
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Producer: Paul Kafno
Contributors: Paul Kafno; Toni Lentin
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Frederick the Great; Voltaire
Footage description: Scenes 1-4 Voltaire, played by Allan McClelland, is seen considering Frederick's offer of a vist to 'Sans Souci', his Potsdam palace. He is then seen being greeted by Frederick, played by Hilary Minster. Scenes 5-11 Voltaire describes Sans Souci favourably in a letter. He describes Frederick's daily routine in detail. The King is seen rising, playing the flute, working at his desk, having lunch with Voltaire. Scenes 12-14 Voltaire is seen giving Frederick a poetry lesson, then later complaining of the King's manners. They are seen arguing over politics at dinner. Scenes 15-17 Voltaire and Frederick are not getting on too well. Voltaire reveals unpleasant aspects of Frederick's private life. The kings reaction to the publication of Doctor Akakia is shown. Scenes 18-23 Further rows between the two over Doctor Akakia. Voltaire reveals his plans for a secret escape for Prussia. Frederick reveals how Voltaire was caught, imprisoned and later released. He reads a final letter to him from Voltaire after his return to France.
Production number: FOUA045D
Videofinder number: 2263
Available to public: no